Rick Hirsch (B.A. University of Massachusetts-Amherst; M.M. Northern Illinois University) is an award-winning composer and arranger who began his career as a personal music copyist for Bob Mintzer and Toshiko Akiyoshi. He has written music for jazz icons Yusef Lateef and Tito Puente, the Capitol Quartet, and the storied Penn State Blue Band, to name a few. He is in demand as a guest conductor for All-State and District Jazz Bands, and formerly served on the music faculty of Penn State University. He has been an invited speaker on improvisation pedagogy at the Midwest Clinic, JEN, and multiple state conferences. In 2017 Rick Hirsch’s BIG OL’ BAND released their acclaimed album, Pocono Git-Down, celebrating the vibrant under-the-radar jazz scenes beyond the big cities. Hirsch lives in State College, PA with his wife and daughters.